After decades of seeing most of the major professional sports leagues turning their cheeks to the realities of gaming, the NFL and Caesars Entertainment decided to come together, announcing Caesars Entertainment as the “official gaming partner for the NFL.” While the partnership was solidified, the executional pitfalls were plenty. We were asked to launch this new program but could not utilize any current or legendary players, coaches, cheerleaders, or NFL commentators.
With all of that brand equity remaining on the sidelines, we’d have to find a different way to break through this announcement across America.
Most don’t know that Caesars Entertainment isn’t just Caesars Palace. It includes destinations in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Lake Tahoe, and all across the country, along with other regional destinations like Harrah’s, The Horseshoe, Bally’s, Flamingo, Planet Hollywood, Rio, and many other properties. The NFL wasn’t simply benefiting from the Caesars Palace mothership but the Caesars Reward program that connects all these properties for fans everywhere. Our idea was simple: you always feel like you’re having a home game — even when you’re not home. If you’ve ever traveled to Philadelphia as an away fan, that’s not the case. Here, you feel our service, and the more times you stayed inside our properties, the more perks came with the Caesars Rewards program. The concept was simply “Welcome Away,” playing off the feeling we’ve all felt when seeing “Welcome Home.” Since we couldn’t use NFL personalities mentioned above, we leveraged the equity of recognizable SuperFans to bring the concept to life.
Away Games Can Feel Like Home. Welcome Away. Being hit with the pandemic severely pivoted the strategy from a preference play to that of awareness. We used national media flights to launch the “Welcome Away” creative that introduced this new approachable concept bridging Caesars Entertainment with the NFL.
With the help of a few real Superfans like NOLA’s Whistle Monster, Carolina Panthers “Catman,” and many others, we started to give America a well-needed smile while educating them that Caesars Entertainment was now the new gaming home of the NFL.